Young man creates robot potato planter

Satiri, which in Aymara means “to sow”, is the name of a robot designed by Bolivian Ramiro Mamani, 22, and who channeled his knowledge to manufacture a prototype for plowing the land and planting potatoes in the shortest possible time in the harsh Bolivian highlands.

It is the twenty-second prototype of old robots that Ramiro, the second of seven siblings, designed since he was 16 years old and which served to give life to Satiri, something he had to do due to lack of “resources”, as he explained.

The artifact does its work in the plains of Quinamaya, a small town 35 kilometers southwest of La Paz, where Ramiro’s parents, Ladislao and Rosa, have a small house with domestic animals such as cows, llamas and sheep, as well as a plot in the that plant barley or potato.

The garage of his house is the cradle of his inventions; he hopes one day to contribute to improving people’s lives. EFE / M. Alipaz

A discovered vocation

Ramiro discovered his fondness for circuits when he left the town’s elementary school and went to the Viacha school, the most important city near Quinamaya, with a good reputation for teaching robotics.

The young man He saved money since his school days and worked on Sundays in factories to later get some fundamental pieces for a new creation or buy the first tools.

From that came a sequel to line-following robots, which collect garbage or solve labyrinths, which after finished gave life to new ones since it has had to “disassemble and reuse components” in order not to stop, he said.

A workshop in a stable

The “baticueva” is the name of Ramiro’s workshop, a kind of gabled house, in which are his tools, circuits, computer and that at night serves as a garage for Satiri.

The inventor recalled that the workshop “was a barn to store cow manure” made of rustic adobe and that it was about to collapse until his father, who in his youth was the only one in the area capable of installing solar panels or pumps. of water, prompted him to do the remodeling.

At the top of the main wall, as if it were the altarpiece of a church, is the image of Albert Einstein, from there other figures such as Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla or Stephen Hawking, who are the “inspiration” of Ramiro, emerge from there. when you decide to create.

At the bottom a small blackboard on which he traces the designs by hand and to one side a computer for simulations and plans of his work based on mathematical formulas.

“Satiri” is made from recycled items, it could improve with more investment. EFE / M. Alipaz

The seeder robot

During last year’s quarantine, Ramiro returned to his parents’ house in Quinamaya to help with field tasks while taking classes from a distance, often on the top of a hill to pick up the internet signal.

“If I’ve been to contests why not make a robot better to help my parents plant potatoes”, was the idea he had when he observed that his parents complained about back pain and pain in other parts of the body.

Ramiro recalled that to finance his project “the main problem was money”, so He began to collect some objects such as old wheelbarrows, molds or pieces of iron to form the structure and buy other elements.

“I had to sell a torito to buy truck batteries ” They can be recharged and serve to give autonomy of movement to the robot used for plowing and sowing and which was initially remote-controlled.

Satiri has an iron steering wheel, a box with a sheepskin leather serves as the driver’s seat, and has a system of plow discs to which an old piece of rail must be attached for pressure, all of which makes it perform well.

Ramiro says that your robot does the work of about four people and that with this the preparation of the earth, which can last about eight hours by hand, is reduced to about two, In addition, energy costs are lower.

“I would like to develop projects or robots to help society, generally where more physical effort is needed”, is the dream of this young man who has taken a break from his studies to enlist in compulsory military service, a factor of social renown in the rural area of ​​the country.


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